Ford rolls engine lines at weekends to meet scrappage demand

Ford said it had to ramp up its UK engine production to meet demand triggered by European scrappage programmes.

The company said strong sales led to its Dagenham and Bridgend engine plants introducing extra weekend working. Their August production volumes were up by 36.5 and 18.3 per cent year-on-year respectively.

With UK orders now running at over 21,250 vehicles, additional weekend shifts had to be introduced last month prior to busy trading during September's UK '59' plate debut.

Ford Dagenham introduced three extra weekend assembly shifts to boost 1.4 and 1.6 Duratorq diesel engine supply. Ford Bridgend also inserted additional shifts to produce the required number of 1.25, 1.4 and 1.6-litre Duratec petrol engines.

Ford’s Dagenham and Bridgend plants employ a total of 4,000 engine production specialists.

Nigel Sharp, Ford Britain managing director, said: "Ford showrooms are enjoying the sales rush triggered by a new registration plate, limited remaining scrappage subsidies and growing awareness of January's VAT increase. I'm delighted that Ford plants are feeling the benefits too."

While the plants satisfy demand throughout Europe, the UK is Ford's largest European market. August output at Bridgend was 22,000 Duratec units, compared with 18,600 in 2008. Dagenham built 19,000 Duratorq engines compared with 13,920 in August 2008.

With scrappage scheme registrations dominated by retail customers, Ford claimed that increased deliveries of Ka, Fiesta and Focus models drove up its private cars sales by more than 25 per cent last month.

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